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Old Movie DVD's & Widescreen Format Error

Discussion in 'DVD' started by SeanA, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    Why is that widescreen DVDs of older movies (about 10 or more years old) do not display correctly ??? For instance, I just watched "Crimson Tide" and I needed to place my Sony widescreen TV in "Zoom" mode for it to properly display a 2.35:1 format. If I was to watch in "Full" mode, the image would be stretched and un-naturally short. (My Denon DVD1600 is properly set for a 16:9 widescreen TV). DVDs of newer movies always display in the correct widescreen format with the TV in "Full" mode. My worst experience was watching "The Great Escape" recently. Even with the TV in "Zoom" mode, I was getting a stretched picture... it looked to be about 3.0:1 !!!

    Is there something wrong with my equipment or is this problem just related to how older movies have been transferred to DVD ???
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The latter. You're describing what happens when you watch a disc that isn't anamorphic (a/k/a "enhanced for 16:9") in full mode. Crimson Tide, which was an early Disney release, is such a disc. A new edition with an anamorphic transfer is expected in the near future.

    BTW, I'm not sure why this is in the Regional DVD area, since it appears to be about region 1 titles. I'm moving it to HT Software.

    M.
     
  3. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    Michael is correct. Most (but not all) widescreen DVDs released today are anamorphically enhanced and should be watched in your monitor's full mode. However, in the early days of DVD some of the major studios were slow to jump on the bandwagon. Early Disney releases (including Miramax) were pretty much all non-anamorphic and Fox had quite a few as well. For all non-anamorphic widescreen titles you will definitely need to zoom.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    Thanks gentlemen. I am glad it is not a problem with my equipment, but a little disappointed that this takes away some of the enjoyment of watching older movies on DVD. I think having to use the "zoom" mode produces a grainier image.
     
  5. Stacey

    Stacey Stunt Coordinator

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    Not only that but all non-anamorphic movies use all the scan lines to display the picture on your monitor resulting in a poor quality picture.

    Non-Anamorphic = [​IMG]
     
  6. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    That's absolutely true, although I think it bears noting that anamorphic is not a guarantee of better picture quality, it is the potential for better picture quality. Everything hinges on the transfer. There are fantastic transfers on some non-anamorphic discs (think The Abyss) and on the flipside there are lousy transfers on some anamorphic discs (think The Sound of Music).

    Don't get me wrong; I desperately wish that my copy of The Abyss were anamorphically-enhanced so I could have the increased resolution, but it still looks pretty darn good on my widescreen monitor.

    [​IMG]
     

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